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Author Topic: Info regarding seating and sightlines
John Walsh
Film God

Posts: 2490
From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999

 - posted 04-21-2002 09:01 PM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Anyone have links to info about proper seating arrangments for good sightlines in theaters? Something a little more than the; "30deg to front row viewing angles" type stuff.

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000

 - posted 04-22-2002 09:03 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
SMPTE Engineering Guideline EG18 does have information, but it is somewhat outdated (does not include stadium seating considerations), and in need of revision:

SMPTE EG18 is based on the work of Will Szabo, which was published in the SMPTE Journal in March 1976:
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: +1 585 477 5325 Cell: +1 585 781 4036 Fax: +1 585 722 7243
Web site:

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Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 04-22-2002 10:30 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 

Give me a call in the office on Tuesday, I have been doing sight line drawing for all of the auditoriums that I have constructed over the past 45 years.

a few of the items you will need.

Architects rule
Lens calculator

Auditorium: Width - Height - placement of exit doors. make a note of any obstructions in the box.i.e. return air vents, columns balconies, height of risers, number of rows, type of chair being used, rockers, fixed seating etc.

You must decide on masking, movable top, movable sides, movable top and bottom.


Left and right surround, EX? Screen Channels?

Placxement of portholes, booth wall....

I would be happy to work with you.

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John Walsh
Film God

Posts: 2490
From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999

 - posted 04-22-2002 08:59 PM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks, both of you guys... I sort of think this is an interesting, but often overlooked area...

Bob, I will be with Brian Tuesday in Hartford, but maybe next week.. ?

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Manny Knowles
"What are these things and WHY are they BLUE???"

Posts: 4247
From: Bloomington, IN, USA
Registered: Feb 2002

 - posted 04-24-2002 10:09 PM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In the meantime, below is a link to a really good paper on the importance of (and a formula for) determining screen size.

This doesn't deal with the entire subject of sightlines, but obviously screen size will be a factor.

And, hey! Let's be careful out there.


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